In politics, a political alliance, also known as a coalition or bloc, is cooperation by members of different political parties, in countries with a parliamentary system, on a common agenda of some kind. This usually involves formal agreements between two or more entire parties. An alliance is usually especially beneficial to the parties concerned during and immediately after elections – due to characteristics of the electoral systems concerned (e.g. allowing each party to clear electoral thresholds) and/or allowing parties to participate in formation of a government after elections. These may break up quickly, or hold together for decades becoming the de facto norm, operating almost as a single unit. Alliances may also form prior to elections in an effort to reduce uncertainty following the election.
This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (September 2020)
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Coalition governments are formed when a political alliance comes to power, or when only a plurality (not a majority) has been reached and several parties must work together to govern. One of the peculiarities of such a method of governance results in minister without portfolio.